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Online Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

October 4, 2012

Cute baby animals could help your study skills.

Readers of this blog who attend WGU know that, as an online university student, you spend most of your study time on the Internet.

And even non-student readers of this blog know that "Internet” and "cute pictures of baby animals” go hand in hand.

Cute pig with bowtie

The Atlantic reports on a new study that suggests those baby animal pictures may be more than just adorable—they could actually improve your productivity.

The participants were broken into groups and asked to perform a fairly tedious-sounding task involving numbers and matrices. Then, one group was shown pictures of cute baby animals, another was shown pictures of less-cute adult animals, and the third was shown pictures of delicious-looking food.

After looking at the photos, they all went back to their numbers game. The group who had seen the cute baby animals improved their performance significantly, jumping from an average of about 23 correct answers to more than 26. The other groups hovered between 23 and 24, no real improvement from where they had been before they saw the photos.

The implication? Cute baby animal photos may make you more productive—more accurate and faster in your work. More good news: The participants were both male and female, so it sounds like it doesn’t matter what your gender is—everyone is better off when adorable puppies, kitties, piglets, fawns, calves, chicks, and polliwogs are within view. (OK, maybe not the polliwogs.)

Just don’t forget that, for the improved productivity to work, you actually have to get back to your homework after your baby animal break.

So why not help out your fellow readers’ productivity? Post a link in the comments below to your very favorite baby animal photo.

Baby animals graphic
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